Top coaches line up for summer Sports Academy

Sport Academy long jump
Sport Academy long jump

Details of the first two internationally-renowned coaches to support the 2013 Borders Sports Academy have been announced.

Around 120 of the region’s most promising young athletes aged 12-17 will attend this summer’s Scottish Borders Sports Academy which features seven disciplines.

Based upon their sporting promise, the youngsters are selected to participate in the five-day event which aims to provide a taster of the type of intensive sports training camps utilised by top professional athletes.

Coaches at this year’s academy will include Michael Johnston, the national endurance coach for Scottish Athletics, who was also endurance coach to the UK European Under-20 team in Serbia and Scottish endurance coach at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne and Deli.

Joining him is BAAB master coach Sandy Robertson. A former Scottish champion and international 400m hurdler, Sandy has a wealth of experience and coached the Scottish Commonwealth Games team in 1970, 1982 and 1986, and the Republic of Malawi team in 1974.

Ewan Jackson, the chief executive of Borders Sport and Leisure, said: “The Borders Sports Academy is now in its 12th year.

“It is an exceptional event which allows our most promising young sports people to receive expert tuition from some of the country’s most experienced coaches.

“Over the coming months our coaches will consider the abilities of all the children in their clubs and will then make recommendations regarding those they would like to put forward for a place at this year’s Borders Sports Academy.

“Being selected to attend is an honour in itself and indicates that a child’s coach believes them to have exceptional sporting potential.”

The 2013 event will feature hockey, tennis, badminton, athletics and swimming, with an expert coach allocated for each sport.

The Sports Academy will take place at Scottish Borders Campus in Galashiels from Sunday, August 4, to August 7.

Previous Borders pupils who have undergone Sports Academy training and then enjoyed success include Alice Haining, who attended in 2006 and 2007 and has since represented GB in kayaking at the world junior championships, securing a team gold in the USA in 2012; and Chris O’Hare, who attended in 2004 and 2005 and has represented GB in athletics at the European Cross Country Championships and won the 2012 NCAA track title in America.